Roca Partida – notes from a tiny island

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Roca Partida is the smallest of the islands we will be visiting on this trip. Calling it an island is a bit of an exaggeration, as really this is a volcanic plug poking out of the surface, with an undersea volcano below. Brown Boobies (these are birds by the way) rest on the surface, squabbling for the best spot. Once below, however, currents will decide your dive plan for you!

For those who like it deep and blue, then the search is on for schooling hammerheads, but the go-to shark on this site is the whitetip shark. They gather here in large numbers and rest in the many crevices and holes in the steep walls. You can find over 20 sharks in one spot, sometimes piled up on top of each other, as they shelter and rest on this incredible dive site.

Huge schools of fish move around this tiny rock. It only takes 15 – 30 minutes to swim all the way round it, but there is always plenty to see. However, this is also a site that is exposed and divers need to be aware of currents moving in all directions throughout the dive. Our crew on Nautilus Belle Amie have issued each diver with an emergency satellite GPS system just in case we stray out of sight of the RIBs patrolling the island waiting for us to ascend. These systems give us extra confidence and make you feel really safe whilst diving a site such as this one, some 300 nautical miles from the Baha Peninsular.

Today, the reef has not given up its full treasure trove, with the groups only seeing a few distinct species of shark and all the schooling fish. A lucky few have seen hammerheads. When this site rocks, it is considered one of the best pelagic dive sites in the world. We have to keep everything crossed for tomorrow…

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For more from Nick and Caroline, visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

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